• Question: Why do antibiotics not work on viruses ?

    Asked by robin morrison and elle n to Sinead on 16 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Sinead Loughran

      Sinead Loughran answered on 16 Nov 2016:

      That’s a good question Robin and Ellen,

      Bacteria and viruses are very different in their structure and in how they replicate.
      Antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections often work by breaking down the structure of the bacterial cell or preventing it from replicating so therefore have absolutely no effect on a virus.

      Here’s a nice video which explains how antibiotics work on bacteria.